Ex-Energy chief Reyes, 64, dead

Former Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes died this morning after sustaining a gunshot wound in the chest in an apparent suicide attempt. He was 64.

In a press conference, Health Secretary Enrique Ona confirmed that Reyes has died from a gunshot wound to the heart. He said Reyes was declared dead on arrival at the Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.

In a radio interview earlier, Reyes' lawyer Bonifacio Alentajan said he received a phone call around 7:45 a.m. from a physician at the Quirino Hospital and informed him that his client was wounded.

"They told me that he is still unconscious and they are now trying to revive him," Alentajan said earlier.

He added that he contacted Reyes' son but refused to give other details on the circumstances surrounding the event.

"We already contacted his son," Alentajan said.

Initial reports said Reyes shot himself in front of his mother's grave at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City. His wound reportedly came from a .45 caliber pistol.

He started his career in the military as a team leader in the Philippine Army Special Forces. He spent his field command duties as battalion commander, brigade commander, and area commander in Mindanao where he gained experiences in addressing the threats from the communist insurgency and Muslim secessionism in the Philippines.

Reyes became the Commanding General of the Philippine Army, which propelled him to the top post of the Philippine Military as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Reyes served as Defense Secretary from 2001 to 2003 and became Energy Secretary under former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

He was recently accused in a high-profile congressional hearing of pocketing money from the armed forces during his term as chief of staff.

SOURCE: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=655535&publicationSubCategoryId=63